Are You Afraid to Make Videos

I’ve talked about this in other posts.  You worry about looking bad in the video. And I’m here to tell you to stop it.  Honest. You look fantastic.

makingafblivevideoThe Secret Is….

And the secret truth is….no one is looking at you anyway.  They’re listening to your voice and trying to understand what you’re teaching.

I did need to prove it to myself though. I wanted to get over my fear. So I did a Facebook Live video fo myself before I’d showered and no makeup on. (You can see it here on my FB page…it’s on 10/25/16)  Are you looking at me or are you listening to my voice?

(Sounds like a line out of the Matrix, doesn’t it?)

Baby Steps

Remember that you can always start out with slides and a voice over. I make mine in Google Docs and then record my videos on my Mac using Camtasia. I can use my Blue Snowball Microphone that way to get a crisper sound.

But at some point, you will want to break through that fear. When people can see you, they feel more of a connection. Admit it. It’s wonderful to read my blog posts. But isn’t it better to see that I’m a real person?  Does in increase your trust to know that I am who I say I am?  I hope so. That’s my goal at any rate. I want to build a solid connection with you so I can help you where I can. I want you to know that whatever problems you’re hitting, I probably have stumbled (or been stopped) by it as well.

So Why Videos?

High resolution black chalkboard image with web 2.0 related tags. Illustration to demonstrate the most important new features in the internet.

Let’s take a quick step back and answer the question of why videos are a good idea.  So many people are watching videos on YouTube and Facebook. It’s a faster way to learn something.,  And Google thinks of it as fresh content. So that helps with your organic search rankings.

You want to make a lot of quick videos to update people on your product or service.

Take a moment and go to YouTube. Do a search on what you want to do.

Be excited if there’s a lot.  That means there’s a market for it.  Ok, be excited if there aren’t because it could mean that it’s an untapped niche.

One of my favorite channels is Brian G Johnson. He has a ton of really useful videos on how to do video marketing well.

Also, I co-authored a Udemy course with my friend Boomy Tokan on YouTube Success for Noobies.  If you click on this link, you’ll get it for 50% off.

And leave a comment if you have questions. I’m here to help you succeed.

Resistance to Producing

Have you ever looked at your to-do list and thought “I really don’t want to do any of that.”  Even though you know that it will help you further your business. But you just can’t bring yourself to actually do the work?  Yeah, I’m so guilty of that.tips tricks black and red glossy internet icon on black backgrou

I know I need to write blogs regularly about internet marketing for this site so you can have fresh and exciting things to read when you visit. I’ll get five ideas while I’m figuring out something like setting up LinkedIn ads. But how to get it out of my head, through my fingers, and into this blog.

We talked a little before about being persistent.  Resistance is just allowing procrastination to keep you from persisting.

Voices In Your Head

So what really stops me from writing? I know that I can write 500 words in fifteen minutes if I’m inspired. One of my most popular rants on lodestone-cs.com was after I’d gotten really annoyed at two large companies. Another popular post took three days to write and polish.

I think the voices in my head stop me the most.  You know those delightful thoughts….

“Why would anyone read what you wrote.”

“You’re no expert in that.”

Yeah, lovely thoughts.

Time to Stop the Bad Thoughts

But here’s the thing. You have to find a way to silence those thoughts. You really do have important things to say. And while you may or may not be an expert….your viewpoint could be just the thing to help someone else. How many times have you read three or four different things on the same subject, and it was one that really opened up your mind.  You could be the key for someone else.  And isn’t that why we do this? To help others?

Also, to a 1st grader, a 3rd grader is a genius.

You don’t have to know everything. You just need to know more than your target audience. And I hope that’s a key for you. You don’t want to target people who already know what you do. You want to target those who don’t.

I mean, would you argue physics with Dr. Stephen Hawking?  (well, I probably would but I don’t have a lick of sense sometimes when I get a bee in my bonnet).

So what do you do?

Here’s what I do. Figure out something that works for you.

  1. Set a timer and say you’re going to write for 15-20 minutes. Write an outline. Write thoughts.  You can always edit.”I
  2. Thank the voices and then say you appreciate the thought. And then go back to planning your blog.
  3. Pretend that you have a dual-cassette tape deck in your head (this is for we older people).  Pretend that one STOP button is on the left side of your forehead and a PLAY button is on the right hand side.  Press the STOP button to turn off the negative tape. Then press PLAY to start the positive tape that says “I’m so interested in this. I know it’s going to help others.” Then start writing.
  4. Breathe in and say “I calm my mind” (in your head…I can’t speak when I have lungs full of air that I’m holding onto). Then breathe out and say “I smile”. And then smile. Then go write.

The bottom line is no matter how you reset your brain, you then need to start writing.

Man Hand writing "A goal without a plan is just a wish" black maBut I’m Waiting for Inspiration

Inspiration happens when you’re actually in the middle of what’s happening. Don’t let the blank page syndrome get you.  You know what you want to write about, so start writing something. Anything.

In college, when I’d have a term paper to write, I’d type in “A brilliant and witty opening sentence followed by some awesome thoughts.” and then would start writing my main points. I forgot to delete it once and my Philosophy prof wrote “We’ll see about that.”

As I always say to my daughter (who is now away at University in another state and I miss her quite a bit)…..You got this.

Buying Cycles and Keywords

We’ve talked before about niche research, and I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance of keywords. But 1198416_businesssometimes training skips the step of explaining what they are and why they’re important. I’ve even heard people referring to their keywords instead of their niche. They are different although they are connected.

What Is a Niche

Your niche is your well defined market. It goes beyond just what you’re selling and defines who you’re going to sell it to as well as where you’re selling it. We’ve talked about sales funnels. When you have defined your niche, you will know how your ideal customer will find you, and how much information they will want to make an informed decision. You will know exactly where to advertise to get their attention.

For example, if you’re selling bridal accessories to first time brides age 27-47. Through testing, you figure out your ideal customer will first search on Google for your product, and then look at review and comparison sites as well as read reviews. So you learn how to advertise through hooks that sound like you’re talking to them. “Planning your Spring wedding?” “Looking for the perfect necklaces to give to your bridesmaids?”

Once you get started, you can refine your niche and expand your products or services to better serve them. You do this through polls and other engagement techniques.

You can also learn more about their hobbies and interests using Facebook’s ad system. When you get to a certain number of page likes, you can get expanded metrics that include other fan pages that your tribe likes.

What Are Your Keywords?

Keywords are the way to describe your business. They describe what you’re selling. If you’re a local business, it also describes where you’re selling it.

This is important for two reasons.

First, you should be clear on what you’re selling and focus your marketing around that. You don’t want your Twitter account to mention widgets and your Facebook page to mention gadgets while you’re main web page discusses doohickeys. It’s important both for your buyer’s perception and for Google’s impression of you.

When Google is evaluating your site, it looks at your keywords and your social media. So it’s important that you put your best keyword forward.  That being said, you can have other keywords.

For example, if your site is selling lower cost but unique light fixtures to homeowners who enjoy DIY or want to have a custom home but hire people to do the work or own rental homes and want to get a quantity discount, Google won’t know who to send to your site. But if your main page is lower cost unique light fixtures, and then you have pages for DIY, custom decorating tips, and bulk purchasing, you can have a variety of keywords on your site without muddying things up.

Buying vs. Researching

People search on different terms when they’re researching than when they’re ready to pull out that credit card to buy. And it’s important to know the difference. If you push for the sale when people are still researching, they won’t be happy. And if you keep offering research when people are ready to buy, they’ll go somewhere else.

A researching keyword would be like “best television to take to college.” The searcher would expect to see reviews and comparisons and maybe blog posts from college students about what television they brought and why it failed or succeeded.

You should be researching as well for ideas for content. Google likes when websites have useful content as well as sales options. Look for problems and write a blog post on how to plan ahead or what you need to know or FAQs. In the case of the television, I didn’t bring one when I went off to college, and I couldn’t have hung one in my college dorm because the walls were made out of concrete.

Buying keywords tend to be very specific. “Best DSLR camera for underwater” is a researching keyword. “Nauticam 7D Mark II housing” probably is a buying keyword, and “Nauticam 7D Mark II housing for sale” or “on sale” are definitely buying keywords.

So What Are Buying Cycles?

Ok now we’re going back to marketing When you go from a potential customer potentially being interested in your product or service through where they’re ready to buy is a sales funnel. You want to get them the right information at the right place in time to help move them along.

A sales funnel could also be called a sales cycle, but generally the sales cycle is a part of the sales funnel. In the sales funnel, you have people entering and dropping out. In the cycle, you’re defining the research keywords through buying keywords. When people talk about sales cycles, they often talk about the three phases.

  • Beginning of buying cycle – buyers start with basic research about the products or services. i.e. “printer reviews” “luxury sedan comparisons” “wine refrigerators for apartments”
  • Mid-stages of buying cycle – buyers are narrowing their online searches. “color laser printers” “audi sedans under $55,000” “12 bottle wine refrigerator”
  • Final stage of buying cycle – most marketers focus only on this final stage where the customer is ready to buy. This is a mistake since you want to be in a solid relationship with the buyer by this time so it makes sense to only buy from you.

How Do You Build the Relationship?

This is why it’s important to do your homework. When you know about your ideal customer, you can enter into a relationship with them when they’re first looking around. You can have the authority website that captures their email address. You can have the active Facebook group that helps answer their pre-sales questions.

The email address really is key to get. Then you set up an autoresponder to send them regular information about what they’re researching. You could send them notes about how to use the product or service, or notifications that you just published a YouTube video showing them how to use it.

The key is to get them excited and visualizing that they’re using your product or service. They can achieve that goal and get rid of that pain that’s been bothering them. And you’re there to help them. You’re there to guide them.

Just don’t sell to them. Remember, people love to buy but hate to be sold.